Name: Shadow of the Beast
Developer: Reflections Interactive
Publisher: Psygnosis
Platform: Commodore Amiga (original)
Genre: Platform Adventure
Year: 1989
Players: One Player
Rarity: Reasonably easy to find secondhand on some formats

Shadow of the Beast was developed by Reflections Interactive in 1989 for the Commodore Amiga, with Shadow of the Beast II being released in 1990, and Shadow of the Beast III in 1992, also for the Amiga computer. The game was published by Psygnosis. The game was also ported to many other systems, including the Atari ST, Atari Lynx, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Master System, Commodore 64 (ported by DMA Design), ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC (courtesy of Gremlin Graphics).

Features very memorable music by David Whittaker. A beautiful arcade adventure, SotB was a major highlight in the Amiga's game history. One notable feature of the game was its many layers of parallax scrolling that reached levels unseen at that time.

The Story...
As a small child, Aarbron was enslaved by the Priests of the Beast Lord. He was tormented for years, subjected to an evil programme of will-sapping drugs. He eventually had no purpose of his own and only belonged to Maletoth, The Beast Lord.

He became the Beast Messenger, a creature possesing great strength and agility, and he soon forgot human ancestry. Time passed and Aarbron performed his duties well, he was a good slave. Then, one fateful day, he wasting time watching ritual sacrifices when the man shackled to the alter woke dim and distant memory. Perplexed, Aarbron moved closer and looked long and hard at the face of the man about to be slaughtered...

The sacrificial knife plunged down and Aarbron remembered with horror that the man he now looked on was his father! As he watched the life blood flow from his body to splash red on the cold floor of the temple, the memories of his short childhood and the truth of who he really was became clear to him.

He looked around him at the priests of the Beast Lord and felt hatred. He swore vengeance on Maletoth and his aid Zelek.

Running away from the temple, cold tears stinging his anguished face, Aarbron vowed to avenge the death of his father and make them pay for his own years of torment...

He knew he had a long and difficult battle ahead of him...

Interesting fact: In order to fit more information on to an Amiga disc, Reflections tried a number of compression routines. While doing so, a method was discovered which involved slowing down the rotation speed of a disc, while writing information at the same speed. To test this, they glued a Kellogg's Cornflakes box to the flywheel of the drive, which in turn, acted like a huge wing, physically slowing down the drive's rotation. By snipping off pieces of the box, they were able to reach an optimum speed (before ruining the drive).
Source: Edge Magazine

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